Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012

I woke up before dawn, or more precisely as dawn was just beginning to break on this Easter morning.

I read an article yesterday about how the young people in America are becoming disenfranchised with Christianity.

Andrew Sullivan made the following observation: "Appearing on "CBS This Morning: Saturday," Sullivan said the crisis facing Christianity was especially bad today for one reason: "When I go and see young people, their image of Christianity these days is one of judgment, intolerance and to some extent bigotry and politics," Sullivan said. "They associate it with one political party in this country, because of the fusion of evangelical and ultra-orthodox Catholics with the Republican Party. They don't see it as the message of Jesus, they don't see it any more as a message of love and forgiveness. They see it as a bunch of people trying to control their lives through political mechanisms."

I see this. I had a conversation with a younger adult the other day that was precisely about this.

The message if Easter has become lost and strangled in political strife and religious wars across the globe.

The whole idea of Christians greeting each other in love and with the excited statement of so long ago: Christ is risen, He is risen indeed, has become muted and lost as Christ followers try to remake the world.

Maybe we have lost our vision. We almost certainly have lost sight of His vision.

Has Christ's message become confused with our own desires? As we are trying to reshape the world have we substituted our vision for that of Jesus'?

Jesus loved sinners and gave them hope. We should know--we are sinners too. We need to love sinners, too.

I am reminded, on this dawning Easter morning as I replay the events of the first Easter in my head, of the empty tomb, the confusion, the despair, the fear that those who were gathered felt as the miracle began to become clearer to them.

And I am reminded of the words of Titus 3:5: he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,

As your Easter dawns today amid the celebration of family and friends or whatever form your remembrance of this greatest day in the history of God's relationship with man takes, pause to think about how we are being perceived by those we are most desperately trying to reach. Are we inviting and forgiving, or are we hard and judging by trying to push a political agenda onto people who don't understand it?

Happy Easter.

Christ has risen.
He has risen, indeed!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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